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Net News Wire 3.1

Ranchero (NewsGator/Brent Simmons)
Rating: (four bloated burnt toasts)

Brent Simmons
Ranchero Software
6542 17th Ave NW
Seattle WA 98117

Collateral damage:
Double what Safari 3 takes on disk
Over ten times what Vienna takes on disk

We stood before it and began to freeze inside from the exertion. We questioned the painting, berated it, made love to it, prayed to it; we called it mother, called it whore and slut, called it our beloved, called it - Net News Wire...
 - H Hesse

Net News Wire is now free. Hallelujah. Pity those who just bought. Maybe they'll get $100 from an Apple store.

NNW won the first round by being first. That's normal. And staff at this site used the free 'lite' version for a time. And praised it for what it was. Back then. Until Vienna came along that is.

And there are other readers of course - but mostly they're neither free nor open. And now NNW although not open is free.

Close call. Uh - not really. Discounting the obvious advantages of having an 'open' application which NNW doesn't have and most likely never will have there are other aspects - things David Pogue refers to when he remarks how software houses seem to keep 'improving' their product until they end up ruining it.

The download for the new NNW is 5.6 MB. Compare this with a complete footprint for a modded Vienna of only 1.5 MB - one quarter that and already expanded. Compare that with a complete footprint for Safari (expanded) of only 4 MB on Tiger, 6.8 MB on Leopard - and that's the expanded size. The 5.6 MB for NNW is the DMG - before it's expanded. 5869980 bytes. Expand the sucker and you're up to 17 MB - double what Safari 3 Leopard takes on disk.

It's littered with junk too. 29 designable.nib files that do absolutely nothing but suck up nearly 5 MB of your disk free space right there. Nearly 1/3 the total footprint. Three of the files are in the half meg range; one is nearly 1.3 MB - it's almost as big as the entire Vienna on disk. And it does absolutely nothing. Rien. Gar nichts. Niets. Nada. Nulla. 全く何もない. Ничего. Nothing.

5 MB wasted for 29 files. That. Aren't. Even. Used. Hats off. It's sickening.

Of course you have a 512 pixel icon weighing in at 300 KB. You really need that. To fill most of a browser window, nearly one quarter of a desktop. You need icons that big. After all you might see this app in that iTunes feature they have in Finder today whatever it's called. It's gotta look good.

Over 30 unoptimised images. Frameworks like Growl, Sparkle, Grunt, and Moan. Cool Automator actions. And so forth.

53 classes.nib files which are never used; 53 corresponding info.nib files falling in the same category: somebody still don't know how to package software after all these years.

And pause there a second: 53 classes.nib files and 29 designable.nib files means 82 NIBs in the sorry thing. 82.

How many does Safari 3 have? 33. How many does Vienna have? 15.

Net News Wire 3.1: the new Microsoft Word.

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